Leadership Styles and Motivation in Organisations


Organisations are facing changes imposed by the environment in which they operate, either due to economic uncertainty, constant evolution of communication systems, technologic advances, and competition or as a result of any other factors that demand rapid and tangible changes in order to maintain competitiveness (Robbins and Judge, 2014). In this context, social skills surface as a determining aspect for success and persons that are able to adapt themselves, redefining priorities and endorsing sustainable growth and organisational progress, are perceived as leaders. Organisations to succeed need efficient leaders; with proper personal skills they are able to create the perfect environment and increase productivity (Schermerhorn et al., 2003).

Leadership styles and motivation: their impact on organisation performance

Leadership and motivation are important concepts that contribute in creating a successful and supportive environment to individuals in an organisation. To understand the success of an organisation, it is important to know the leadership styles, practice and motivation of any individual (Daft & Lane, 2008). The discussion on leadership of today’s leaders arose from the need to understand these models and their importance in organisations. Leadership is present at all times and situations, either in personal or organisational life. It is a continuous process of decisions, successes and failures that allows the company to pursue their goals (Mullins, 2007).


In the 90’s, human relationships have become much more emphasized and important in relation to the past and this directly affects business management. Power is the exercise of leadership, but there is no right or wrong way. Thus, the ideal leader is one that fits the organisational reality, and is able to shape every situation, time or workgroup (Daft & Lane, 2008).

According to Bass (2008) the leadership styles vary from autocratic, democratic and liberal:

  • In autocratic leadership the leader is dominant and his followers do not participate in decisions. This leadership style laid emphasis on the leader persona (Bass and Bass, 2008).
  • In liberal leadership (laissez-faire), the leader gives the individual or group freedom to make choices and decisions; it will only participate if asked. The liberal leadership the group is the highlight.
  • In democratic leadership the leader encourages the participation of people, participates in decision making and coordinates the activities of the team. The leader is quite communicative and always interacts with the team. In this kind of leadership style the group and the leader are underline (Bass and Bass, 2008).


Fig1. Different types of leadership (Dabbah, 2015).

The leader can use all leadership styles, according to need, the task and people. It is up to every experience leader to know how to balance these practices and when to apply those (Daft & Lane, 2008).

Burger King and Paramount Pictures overview

In the case of Burger King, staff are well trained and more intuitive and effective in taking decisions, all the confidence given by the leadership is an encouragement to include their own employees to use their individual knowledge and perception, in taking part in the decision making in each job role. This independence is a sign of an open mind management and its inclusion in creating a good working environment in the competitive market. This shows adaptation and a good leadership forecast in the fierce market. The managers know that the human factor is the important tool for a responsible and ethic manner to provide the best customer service. Therefore, the manager will take more responsibility to create the right and imperative directions in accordance to Burger King’s goals and objectives. It is up to the manager to assume all the concrete facts and coordinate the strategy using the democratic model. This attitude is the perfect and exceptional view to grant more employable workplace and dedicated workforce (Burger King Corporation, 2008).


Paramount Pictures in the other hand is run by an autocratic mission statement type as the CEO Brad Alan Grey personally stated:

“I quickly realized I had to have my own style and strategy and find my own way.”  (Holson, 2006)

In a business that demands greatness and excellence, this type of statement is a good example of actions being made promptly without the use of any workforce conduct or decision. This leadership is characterized by the strong personality the leader imbedded in his actions. Since his entrance in the company, Paramount Pictures is number 1 in the international platform and 2nd domestically against all competition in the film industry, which shows that this particularly management style is successful in this company. Brad Alan Grey is seen as a multifaceted strategist very focus in his own perspectives that credited him the skills to create great alliances in the business (Paramount Pictures, 2015). These alliances are part of the external relationship of the company in the market environment, which is a great asset to the company interest. Internally, this type of governance can be seen as a steady micro-management as the control of all decisions in all departments are essentially made by one person, leading to a loss of the staff morale and reducing the creative process of each individual. This originates an environment where writers, composers, animators, and actors do not execute their best, because they have no position in story development. This method of “regime“, in my opinion can be seen as great marketing technique for the competition, a form of passing the message: “here is how we make things”, a type of ‘rough’ strategy. Sometimes it can be good to be seen as strong and fearless to have a great impact in employability arena. This rough look can attract the best partners in game as also the best individuals to work in the company (Paramount Pictures, 2015).


Human motivation has been one of the main concerns and challenges of managing modern organisational corporate, and several theories attempt to explain the meaning of this mysterious force that takes people to act in order to achieve their goals (Schermerhorn et al., 2003). What was previously just an instrument of Human Resources now becomes part of the corporate strategy (Mullins, 2007). Through formal education and training, an individual can use their full potential more efficiently, making it an outstanding professional and achieve their personal dreams and ideals. The motivation of human beings and the quality of working life represents challenges that need to be tackled by a modern administration in order to achieve goals that can meet these needs. From the moment the concern for the well-being of people started gaining ground in organizations, it was possible to achieve better results in the search for proper working environment and the development of professional activities (Schermerhorn et al., 2003).

The man is considered a complex animal with complex needs and differentiated. These necessities guide and streamline human behaviour towards certain personal goals. Once a need is met, then another emerges instead, within a continuous process that has no end, from birth to the death of people. The behaviourist theory already said that the administrator needs to know the human needs to better understand human behaviour and use human motivation as a powerful means to improve the quality of life in organisations. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is based on the idea that every human being has worked hard to meet their personal and professional needs (Wilson, 2010). It is a pyramid showing a hierarchical division in which the requirements considered that the lowest level must be satisfied before the higher level requirements. According to this theory, each individual has to perform a “surge” hierarchical needs to reach their full self-realization. Maslow’s pyramid is divided into five hierarchical levels, each consisting of a set of needs. Bottom of the pyramid are the elements that are critical to the survival of a person, such as hunger, thirst, sex and breathing. To progress in the hierarchy is required the conquest of elementary conditions, moving to the next levels one by one, until you reach the top. Once satisfied the first three levels of needs, comes the next two levels of requirements; esteem and self realization, the fulfilment of the this superior needs in the hierarchical pyramid plays a important part for the motivation of each individual in the organisation (Wilson, 2010).


Fig.2 Maslow Hierarchy of needs (ideasuk, 2011).

In both Burger King and Paramount Pictures we can see that all five needs of Maslow’s hierarchy can be apply and addressed to each employee, what may differ is just the sequence in which these needs can arise in different employees, and probably when an employee enters the organization they will already have some of these needs satisfied. Abraham Maslow states that businesses who take after this hypothesis tend to offer more appealing work, essential fulfilling relations, and more conform for self-acknowledgement (Wilson, 2010).

In the other hand, Frederick Herzberg in his motivational hypothesis proposes that there are two major enticement factors for the individual: motivation factors and hygiene factors. Motivational factors refer to job content, tasks and activities related to the job itself. They include freedom to decide how to perform the work, full use of personal skills, full responsibility for the work, setting goals and objectives related to work and self-assessment of performance (Cole, 2002). They are called satisfaction factors. The presence generates motivation, while their absence does not generate satisfaction, also called intrinsic. Hygiene factors concern the physical conditions of the workplace, wage, social, organisational policies, organisational climate, growth opportunities, etc.

According to Herzberg, these factors are sufficient only to prevent people from getting discouraged. Their absence is discouraging, but the presence is not a motivating element. They are called dissatisfaction factors, also known as extrinsic or environmental (Cole, 2002).


Fig.3 Frederick Hezberg Motivational hypothesis (Siddiqui, 2014).

Staff training and development at Burger King is a tantamount to improve employees personal achievement within the organisation, this strategy to engage with the workforce is a motivational factor in Herzberg theory for the job satisfaction and recognition within Burger King motivation techniques (Cole, 2002). In the other hand the competiveness in the employment market and the saturation of labour, will affect the sustainability of each employee within the organisation. Therefore the environment for itself will not induce them the satisfaction. The fear to maintain the job is a constant threat to the progress they have in the business, therefore a drawback in the hygiene factor for each individual (Cole, 2002).

Aspects that influence individual behaviour at work

Organisations are shaped by individuals, who are structured in some diversity to achieve common goals and objectives. Their behaviour can be affected by both inherent and environmental factors. One of these is character which will invariably be diverse from person to person. The personality will differ according to their view, nature and achievement (Robbins and Judge, 2014). Another is the cultural scope of different people, which will play a part in determining their values and way of judgment. As there are usually individuals of different racial backgrounds within any organisation, this will be vastly evident. The cognitive process to transform the natural stimulus into valuable information is the unique perception individual has to express the actions within the organisation (Cole, 2002).

The individual status within the organisation will undoubtedly change their perception and behaviour. The ability to perform tasks request by their job role within culture of the organisation will affect the view of others around them as also affect the accomplishment within themselves (Mullins, 2007).

Shaped by different backgrounds of individuals, organisations nowadays are fashioned along the diversity of the group, and also the uniqueness in each of his individuals. The beliefs inherit by birth or taught at a younger instance can be part of the solid backbone for the individual to respond in the business environment reality.


    Fig.4 Individual behaviour factors diagram

These are the main factors to be considered by any manager. A workforce might have an impact and influences the manager efficiency in decision making for best interest of the organisation standards and procedures to execute any task in best practice (Robbins and Judge, 2014). Any manager should evaluate all the above features in each individual and associate to them in a neutral and professional way, to get the best of individual’s in the workforce.

Group behaviour within the organisations

The organisation’s body of work is a group-based activity and if the foremost is to function effectively it requires good teamwork. Administration is pluralistic in nature, and there may be different individual’s interests and perceptions who will not necessarily share the management’s views on different topics (Bennett, 1994). Groups exert influence over its administration, and managers must utilize this in order to elevate and achieve a high standard of work and increase effectiveness, the members of a group have a green goal, and are interdependent on each other (Bennett, 1994).

The diversity of opinions can lead to a more successful approach to the competitiveness in the environment business revolves. Organisations are now keener to adapt to the workforce and create solutions to encourage good practice of its subordinates. In a crowded environment the backgrounds and all individual’s behaviours will affect the performance of a specific task, the job role demands, as well the successful progress in the company to achieve the goals and objectives. In the other hand diversity can bring limitations in decision making due to the different opinions and religious beliefs. The lack of understanding and similarities can lead to ineffective team work. Age can be a factor that can also be a factor as people with different ages can have different approach to the duties or task given to them (Brooks, 2006).


Fig.5 Group versus Team definitions (Maliwan, 2014)

Enthusiasm for teamwork has expanded in the later past, and there is added influence to create self-guided and guided groups to enhance quality, adaptability and worker confidence. Numerous variables such as: physical, social and psychological make individuals different from each other, and this might bring difficulties in group team-building (Robbins and Judge, 2014). Comparative sidelines and foundations among colleagues would bring the cohesiveness of the congregation to growth, and expand the odds of accomplishment inside of the congregation. Comparability in foundation would clear conduit for more sympathy and understanding among the colleagues. The security and permanency of the group as well, assumes some part in this. A more continual group would probably get on well with one another.

Impact of technology on team functioning

With the progression of technology, a lot of organisation procedures might be experienced by means of remote or robotized frameworks, in this manner giving the groups more self-rule to work all alone and settle on their own choices, at the same time letting the higher management stay in contact. Technological advances may restrain the interface of humans and generate distance between the workforce (Bratton, et al 2010). The organisation’s employees will find that is not enough to substitute human contact with connectivity technological and it might be a fear that they could be made redundant so technological advances lead to a loss of motivation, the disappointment in the workplace. For example in Paramount Pictures most of the communication is through emailing, especially as the company grew, less and less people are telephoning or meeting personally to discuss matters which have an impact on team functioning as certain employees might not check their emails regularly. This can also prevent tasks from being completed quicker (Robbins and Judge, 2014).


Organisational behaviour is a regulation of numerous aspects, which is vital in the business administration adequately in nature of the present world element. Administration styles, Motivational speculations and components that influence a man’s conduct must be carefully determined on and used to discover the correspondence to fit the individual and organisational relationship. Cooperation, congregation and innovation are likewise the backbone in making a working culture and structure that permits representatives add the best for their organisations, while offering them some assistance with achieving self-improvement and accomplishment.


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Dabbah, M. (2015) Leadership style quiz: Discover What’s yours!. Available at: http://redshoemovement.com/leadership-style-quiz/ (Accessed: 5 January 2016).


ideasuk (2011) Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the ideas Programme. Available at: http://blog.ideasuk.com/2011/06/15/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-and-the-ideas-programme/ (Accessed: 4 January 2016).


Siddiqui, F. (2014) Motivation – Frederick Herzberg’s theory of Motivation. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/motivation-frederick-herzbergs-theory-fareed (Accessed: 5 January 2016).


Maliwan (2014) Maliwan. Available at: https://maliwanblog.wordpress.com/author/maliwan2014/ (Accessed: 7 January 2016).



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